November is National Caregivers Month, and for that reason I feel compelled to share my appreciation for the caregivers who compassionately journeyed with my mother through the many stages of Alzheimer’s disease for nine agonizing years. A newly opened memory care unit treated my mother with respect while providing the loving care and guidance she required for her entire residence. My family agonized over her nursing home placement, and I’m happy to report in hindsight we couldn’t have picked a better place. Mom was one of the first twenty-four residents to inhabit the brand new Alzheimer’s wing when it opened. As her imminent death at the cruel hands of Alzheimer’s disease approached 9 years later, the aides and nurses on duty took turns ensuring her comfort while paying their last respects, kissing her forehead with tears in their eyes. I am so very thankful for their expertise and patience with such a heartbreaking and difficult job.
If you would like to share your own tribute to a caregiver, professional or unpaid, visit the “Honoring Caregivers” page of the Alzheimer’s Association to post your message along with countless others. There are some beautiful and moving dedications there to the many unsung heroes battling dementia from those who recognize the sacrifices and difficulties of caring for Alzheimer’s sufferers.
Image courtesy of qthomasbower